Warriors can't build off early goal

Matthew Gourlie
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For the second time in three games Jack Rodewald scored in the first minute of a game.

Moose Jaw Warriors

Unfortunately for the Moose Jaw Warriors those early goals haven't done them any good.

Despite the ideal start, Saturday's early goal failed to ignite the slumping Warriors offence as they lost 5-2 to the Regina Pats in WHL action at the Brandt Centre.

"I liked the way we played, but still it doesn't matter. The bottom line is that you have to score," said Warriors head coach Mike Stothers. "If you score two goals you're not going to win."

The Warriors (13-31-3-5) are now winless in nine straight games and haven't scored more than two goals in a game for the sixth straight outing.

The Warriors haven't been blessed with an abundance of offence at any point this season, but with 17 goals in their last nine games, they're in a funk by any standard. Stothers wants to his players — all of his players — have a scoring mentality every shift.

"You have to go on the ice expecting to score," said Stothers. "You're not going out there just to fill 45 seconds and then get off and say: 'phew, that was good, we didn't get scored on.' People say if you're on the fourth line, that's your checking line, but everybody is supposed to score."

Anyone who reached the WHL is used to scoring goals at some level of minor hockey and Stothers feels that no matter what role a player is given, there's no reason they can't chip in a little offensively.

"There are guys who are gifted offensively and find a way to score and there are guys who aren't. If you're at six goals, you could have 9-11 goals if you had your stick on the ice. Or if you were ready for passes and rebounds," he said. 

The Warriors forced Pats goalie Daniel Wapple to make 33 saves Saturday, but Stothers feels his team needs to do a much better job of testing their opponent's goalies.

"If you get a chance and blast it over the net or blast it wide from between the hash marks, then you have zero chance of scoring. You have to make sure you hit the net," said Stothers. "Even if you have to take something off of it, get rid of it quicker and make sure it hits the net. It starts from there. That's the thing we have to get through to them. They all want to score with the perfect shot — under the bar and in — and those just don't happen often. Just hit the net."

Tanner Eberle and Dyson Stevenson got into their annual fight 13 seconds into the game. It's the third straight season the pair have dropped the gloves.

Regina's Braden Christoffer took a charging penalty 24 seconds into the game and Rodewald scored 49 seconds in.

Stevenson tied the game for the Pats late in the first period thanks to a power play goal.

The Warriors had four first period power plays and two five-on-three power plays in the first period, but only scored the one goal. The Warriors were 1-for-8 on the power play.

Their power play was connecting 21.4 per cent of the time before they traded Travis Brown to Victoria. Since then they've been 5-for-48 (10.4 per cent) with the man-advantage.

In the second period Kyle Burroughs gave the Pats the lead and then Colby Williams and Chandler Stephenson scored six seconds apart for the Pats to blow the game open.

Rodewald's second goal of the night gave the Warriors a little life with 8:18 left, but Dryden Hunt scored into an empty net to ice the game for Regina.

Justin Paulic made 31 saves for the Warriors. Thomas Spence was the emergency goalie once again with Zach Sawchenko still out with an injury.

The Warriors were missing captain Sam Fioretti who served the second game of his three-game suspension. The Warriors were also missing forwards Colton McCarthy and Miles Warkentine due to injury and Brandon Potomak left Saturday's game and did not return with an upper-body injury.

Organizations: Brandt Centre

Geographic location: Victoria

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